By Rupin Chopra and Apalka Bareja
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has notified the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2021 vide its Notification dated November 02, 2021. The New Rules further amend the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. These Rules shall come into force on April 01, 2022.
The following key amendments have been made by the Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) read with clause (j) and (q) of subsection (2) of section 52 of the Legal Metrology Act 2009:
|Rule||Old Rules||Amended Rule||Comments|
|Rule 2(aa)||Earlier Rule 2(aa) provided that for the words, brackets, letters and figures ―clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.||The New Rules under Rule 2(aa) are to be substituted with the words, brackets, letters and figures ―clause (7) of section 2 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.||Rules 2(aa) has been amended in view of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, which defines a “consumer” under clause (7) of section 2.|
|Rule 4||Earlier Rule 4 provided for Regulation for pre-packing and sale etc. of commodities in packaged form.||The amended Rules inserts a sub rule (1) and states that When one or more packages intended for retail sale are grouped together for being sold as a retail package on promotional offer, every package of the group shall comply with provisions of rule 6.||The amended Rules provide that when packages are grouped together for retail sale then each package in the group shall comply with the mandatory declaration to be made on every package.|
|Rule 5||Rule 5 provided for the Specific commodities to be packed and sold in recommended standard packages||The Amendment Rules of 2021 omits Rule 5||Rule 5 has been omitted.|
|Rule 6(1) (d)||Earlier Rule 6(1)(d) provided that month and year in which the commodity was manufactured or pre-packed or imported shall be mentioned in the package.||The New Rules omits the words “―or pre-packed or imported”. Hence, the New Rule provides that month and year in which the commodity was manufactured shall be mentioned in the package.||Hence, the package now needs to mention the month and year in which the commodity was manufactured and month and year in which commodity was packed or imported does not need to be declared.|
|Rule 6(1)(e)||This Rule deals with the declaration of Retail sale price on the package. Earlier the Rule stated that the package shall clearly indicate the MRP and the price in rupees and paise shall be rounded off to the nearest rupee or 50 paise.||The New Rule provides that the declaration of retail sale on packaging shall be provided in the Indian Currency.||Hence, Amended Rules while doing away with declaration in Rupees and paise, simplifies the declaration of MRP on packaging by providing that the MRP should be declared in “Indian currency”.|
|Rule 6(11)||–||A new provision has been inserted to indicate the unit sale price on pre-packaged commodities. Unit price is to be declared on your packages in any of the following format:
1. “Rs. __ per g” for pre-packaged commodities with net quantity of commodity less than one kilogram;
2. “Rs. __ per kg” for pre-packaged commodities with net quantity of commodity more or equal to one kilogram;
3. “Rs. __ per cm” or pre-packaged commodities with net length of the commodity less than one meter;
4. “Rs. __ per meter” for pre-packaged commodities with net length of the commodity more or equal to one meter;
5. “Rs. __ per number”;
6. “Rs. __ per ml” for pre-packaged commodities with net volume of the commodity less than one liter;
7. “Rs. __ per liter” for pre-packaged commodities with net volume of the commodity more or equal to one liter.
|Now, the unit price needs to be declared on each package along with the MRP in Indian Rupees. This puts additional compliance burden to be followed for pre-packaged commodities. However, this will allow easier comparison of prices while buying a product.
|Rules 13(5)(ii)||Earlier Rules 13(5)(ii) provided for the Statement of units of weight, measure or number and stated that For items sold by number the symbol should be N or U.||The Amended Rule states that for items sold by number, the number or unit or piece or pair or set or such other word which represents the quantity in the package shall be mentioned.||The Amended Rules provides for representation of number or unit or piece or pair or set through word which represent the quantity on the package instead of representation of the symbol N or U on the package as required earlier.|
|Rule 18(7)||The Old Rule under 18(7) was applicable to all retailers covered under the Value Added Tax VAT or Turn Over Tax (TOT).||The Amended Rule substitutes the word “the Value Added Tax VAT or Turn Over Tax (TOT)” with “Goods and Service Tax”.||In view of the amendment the provisions relating to whole sale dealers and retail dealers cover retailers under the “Goods and Service Tax” i.e. GST only.|
The Amended Legal Metrology Rules are all set to come into force in April next year. The Amended Rules are a step ahead towards consumer welfare and are in consonance with the new Consumer Protection Act of 2019.